Story: Look Hard

He adored her. She was a breath of fresh air in the trenches. She was a flicker of light in the black void of space. She was the foothold for a man caught in a rip tide. She was everything that kept him grounded, hopeful and alive.

He liked to stare into her eyes and fall into a state of hypnotism.
He liked to observe her the curves of her lips meet in soft promise.
He liked to watch the curls in her hair rise and fall with the rhythm of the wind.
He liked to follow the curves of her body; the length of her fingers; the shape of her calves…

It wasn’t easy when they kept such distances apart. One day upon his request, she had sent him a photo of herself. He scrutinised the image from corner to corner; left to right, up to down, and diagonally edge to edge.

But with each pass, the air seemed to have been sucked out. The lights seemed to be dimmer than he remembered. His body rocked as if waves had swept him into a whirlpool.

He couldn’t take his eyes off a band around her finger – looking hard, through the reflection in the ring, he saw a man; looking harder, he was undressed, exhausted, and sharing her bed.

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